What do I Deserve? by Jonathan Oldacre
March 25, 2007, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Devotions

by Jonathan Oldacre 

Tonight Melanie and I settled in for a Sunday night tradition: the “Snack Dinner” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” My wonderful wife creates a meal of all our favorite snack foods (Ritz crackers, sharp cheddar cheese, vegetables and ranch dip, Baked Cheetos, apple slices, etc.) and we watch this show on ABC. Now, we used to really like the show, but after the bazillionth time it’s kind of losing its shock factor. There are only so many creative ways to destroy an old house and create a mansion in its place, only so many free trucks given away, only so many country fund-raising concerts to be endured (country music being yet another product of the fall). One thing that repeatedly stands out in the show is a pronounced vocabulary of deserving. It’s nearly comical how many times they talk about such-and-such “deserving this reward” or “we love to help deserving families” or “I can’t think of someone who deserves this more” or you hear kids who were once perfectly content playing in a shabby front yard with minimal toys now brain-washed into saying things like “…now I can just be a kid, thanks ABC!”

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful to help those in need, to give to the poor, to show kindness and compassion to those who are downcast…however, this show begs the question, “What do we really deserve?” Here’s the truth: In light of our sinfulness and God’s holiness, what you and I truly deserve is hell. Eternal wrath, and fire, and punishment forever. I understand the trickiness of discussing real suffering and poverty in America, but to reinforce the idea that we’re entitled to or deserving of anything other than the wrath of the Holy One is absolutely absurd and worldly.

So in light of the constant bombardment from the world telling us that we deserve a break, or we deserve to indulge, or we deserve a nice house, wife, family, car, an easy life, no sickness, no difficulty, a good salary,…fill in the blank, let’s go on the offensive and specifically apply the gospel! Here are some thoughts for application:


1)      Let’s let every mention of the word “deserve” bring us humbled to the foot of the Cross where we see Christ hanging in our place receiving what we actually do deserve so that we could receive what He earned. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

2)      Regarding TV; Talk to it! Tell it, “That’s ridiculous! That is such a worldly way of thinking! As if life were all about me and what I want and think I deserve, that’s arrogant and proud! God thank you that you never give me what I deserve and I’m always doing better than I deserve!”

 Thank God for the gospel today!


4 Comments so far
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That was a great blog! Thank you so much! It just reminded me of what I really deserve and how adorning the gospel is! God is so merciful and so gracious not to give me what I really deserve, and instead bless me so much! I went home this weekend to visit with my family and God opened my eyes to how blessed I am. My family is so loving and caring for me. They continually encourage me and do so much for me. Next weekend my parents are coming up just to hangout with me and watch me run a 5k race. God is so good to give me what I don’t deserve, so thank you for reminding me of that!

Comment by mini mike

great reminder. All we have outside of hell is mercy! Thanks JO

Comment by kevin shipp

Jonathan, I suggest trading in your Sunday night tradition for a Monday night tradition: “Snack Dinner” and “24”. No one whining about what they deserve–just good old fashioned, adrenaline-pumping, plot-twisting, nail-biting, suspense-inducing, action-packing adventure-telling. In TV world, terrorists deserve Jack Bauer.

Comment by Cap Stewart

That was a really good post Jonathan. We don’t deserve a nice house if we don’t have one. We don’t deserve anything.

I agree with you about talking to the TV. It can be fun as well. Have you ever watched a preacher on TBN shouting “Heresy!” at every unbiblical thing said? It’s a fun game, you should try it sometime.

Comment by psteele

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